The plan to house a permanent memorial to Jan. 8th victims and survivors at the Old Pima County Courthouse downtown was made official this morning.
Dozens of elected officials, Jan. 8 Memorial Foundation members and others gathered outside the courthouse this mooring to make the announcement.
“This memorial will remind the world of what happened here,” said U.S. Rep. Ron Barber. “But more importantly…what happened afterwards: the kindness, the caring and love that came forward. And you will see that when you look at the archives, it represents Tucson at it’s very, very best.”
Barber, a Democrat, was one of 13 people wounded in the attack. Six people were killed.
While other sites, such as the Safeway store where the shooting spree occurred, and former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s office were considered, the old courthouse was selected because it’s the epicenter of local government, said Stephen Brigham, president of Tucson’s Jan. 8 Memorial Foundation.
“January 8, 2011 was about Congress on Your Corner. An act of local democracy horrifically interrupted. We not only wanted a magical space like this, but we wanted this space that could connect so many things downtown,” he said.
Now that an official site is selected, Brigham said the foundation can focus on fundraising and selecting a design team.
It’s expected to take two to three years to complete the project.